by Erin Bird
We are in a series here on the blog about various Bible study methods, looking at a different method each week. This week, I want to look at the idea of “writing the Bible.”
“Write” the Bible?
Now, I realize I gave this week’s article an eyebrow-raising title. So let me calm your concerns. I am not telling you to “write” the Bible like God wrote it through Paul, David, Moses, and the other 37 authors.
Rather, this week’s Bible study method involves grabbing a journal and writing out word-for-word the text of your English Bible. “But how is that ‘studying’ the Bible?” you might ask.
Let me explain…
#1. Writing slows your thinking processes.
In our day and age of high-speed internet, fast computer processors, and microwave meals, we are used to getting things right away. We have become increasingly an impatient people.
For instance, did you know that if a website does not load within three seconds, 53% percent of users will abandon the web page? (source) Our minds are constantly moving, and if the information we are looking for doesn’t come immediately, we get impatient.
This same rush-rush mentality can slip into a person’s Bible reading. He or she can jump in to the text and want to get something out of it NOW. But sometimes, in order to truly understand what you are reading and gain a deeper appreciation of the Scriptures, you have to s l o w d o w n.
That’s what this week’s study method can provide. Rather than just read the text when you open your Bible, you begin to write out the text on a blank page. As you do so, it slows down your thinking and sometimes allows you to see things you might have missed had you just read the text at your normal pace.
#2. Writing brings focus.
I know of a pastor who used to type out the text he was going to preach on Sunday as the starting point to his week’s study. One week though, while on a personal retreat, he had forgotten his computer, so he decided to simply write out the text.
He said something happened in that moment. He saw things in the text he had never seen before. He hadn’t had an experience like that whenever he typed the text. But when he wrote out the text, he began to see things in new ways. (He claims he’s been “writing the Scripture” ever since.)
So this week’s method isn’t merely about copying the text (which would make typing a legitimate way to “study” the Bible). Bible study is about connecting with God through His Word. Studies indicate your brain works differently (i.e. more focused) when your hand is actively writing versus when your hands are actively typing.
So don’t pull out your laptop, pull out a piece of paper. Don’t put your fingers on the keyboard, put them on a pen. Allow the process of writing by hand the words in your English Bible bring focus upon the words in a new way.
#3. Writing helps with memorization.
Think about it: if writing out the Bible by hand slows you down and brings a renewed focus, then naturally writing aids with Bible memorization.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I don’t know what to do or say in various situations, and I wish I had a Bible verse to help guide me. Disciplining yourself to write out the text by hand helps the truths stick in your heart and brain a little more than if you had just simply read the verse. So if you’d like to increase your ability to recall Bible verses, take some time to write out the Word.
Last week, I alluded to the idea that I do not expect you to do all of the various Bible study methods we’ll look at in this series. My hope is that at least one of these methods will pique your interest, and help you go deeper in your faith in Jesus through study of God’s Word. So give this week’s method a try over the next few days and see if it provides spiritual dividends. And if it does – great! If not, tune in next week. 😁